News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 3/8/98

From: Thomas.Trussell@alltel.com;
Sent at Mon, 9 Mar 1998 10:45:13 -0600;
I can see your site from here


I saw your page at:


Most significantly, I saw the page here at work, without going through an anonymous web server site (AGIS's suggested workaround!).

Thanks for getting this fixed. I don't know the nature of the dispute between Conxion and AGIS, but apparently there's a truce. If only we could resolve international disputes with an email message or two!

From: rnews@whirlpool.river.com (Richard Johnson);
Sent at Sun, 8 Mar 1998 12:59:04 -0700;
Re:Caught Between the ISPs

Address munged to defeat harvesting by spam spiders if it inadvertently gets posted on web sites. To reply via email, be sure you don't enter the whirlpool on river left.

I recall similar problems reaching scripting.com a while back. IIRC, Sprint and Conxion apparently weren't getting along. I asked my "local backbone" to spit the packets destined for scripting.com out one of their other DS3s, and all was made happy.

Peering politics is quite a twisty mess. Add hot-potato routing, where a backbone tries to get traffic destined for sites that aren't customers of theirs off their network as quickly as possible, and the distinction between "backbones" and "content providers" becomes interesting. In a sense, every site on a foreign network becomes a "content provider", and the "backbone" wants to make sure they don't carry the traffic for that "content provider" if they can avoid it.

Otherwise, like you, I don't know what James Hood really means.

From: sdenbes1@san.rr.com (Steven Den Beste);
Sent at Sun, 8 Mar 1998 11:16:53 -0800;

Hood's answer may not cover the whole situation. Are you aware that AGIS was the network which permitted Sanford Wallace carte blanche to send as much SPAM as he wished? (And he wishes to send a whale of a lot, as we all know from personal experience.)

As a result, AGIS got blacklisted by a lot of other networks. They were also seriously hammered by hackers. Finally AGIS gave in and cut him off. But the broken connections and AGIS' generally bad reputation continue because of the escapade.

See http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,15374,00.html

From: daniel@circumtech.com (Daniel Berlinger);
Sent at Sun, 8 Mar 1998 02:27:51 -0500;
Re:Caught Between the ISPs

If it were anyone but AGIS Mr. Trussell probably wouldn't be having this problem. I'm sure you understand the core of the problem, that if everyone doesn't hold hands it is possible to be isolated, but it very rarely happens. Unfortunately, AGIS made a business decision by pursuing UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) clients and supporting their actions.

Because of this, many networks filtered AGIS blocks at their routers. And despite what I believe is a change in attitude since then, and they no longer seek producers of UCE, I'd bet many networks are still closed to them.

This would certainly increase the likelihood of the problem noted by Mr. Trussell.

I watch the networking field fairly closely, always looking for the best resources for my clients and myself. Connexion has an excellent reputation, and they have always been easy to deal with when I have had questions or issues regarding their networks.

I also "see" scripting.com from many different networks/providers and rarely see problems that can be attributed to the sort of network issues that Connexion could do something about.

It is unfortunate that people are frustrated by the issues at hand. If there is something beyond UCE here, I'd be surprised. It's a problem that affects all netizens.

From: wesley@scripting.com (Wesley Felter);
Sent at Sat, 7 Mar 1998 18:32:45 -0600;
Re:Caught Between the ISPs

I see you've discovered the coming Internet fragmentation.

As you know, there are no laws or regulations that govern the Net. So if you're an ISP (like ConXion), you have to negotiate a separate deal *with every other ISP* that you want exchange traffic with. On the page that Mr. Hood mentions, you'll see the following sentence: "AGIS reserves the right to refuse requests (for peering) based on our own discretion." So basically if AGIS doesn't want to exchange traffic with another ISP, they don't have to.

Most of the problem centers on the difference between a "customer" and a "peer". If you're a customer, then your ISP has a responsibility to carry your traffic, because you're paying them. If you're a peer, which usually means you're an ISP, then other ISPs will usually carry your traffic for free in exchange for you carrying their traffic for free.

Apparently AGIS will only establish free peering agreements with ISPs that are as large or larger than itself. Since AGIS apparently thinks that ConXion does not meet this requirement, it refuses to establish a peering agreement with ConXion. Thus the only way for ConXion to be able to exchange traffic with AGIS is to pay them. You could argue that ConXion should be willing to pay ransom to other ISPs in order to provide global reachability to their customers, or you could argue that AGIS should not be trying to extort money from ConXion because of a grudge.

This page was last built on Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at 6:12:07 PM, with Frontier version 5.0.1. Mail to: dave@scripting.com. © copyright 1997-98 UserLand Software.